Week 5’s Top 5 Match-Ups!
By Matt DeLucia
It’s time again for this week installment of the top games on tap. Welcome to week 5’s top 5 match-ups for the NFL.
5 – INDIANAPOLIS (1-2) AT HOUSTON (0-3)
Look closely the Indianapolis Colts are not in first place or even close to it, for the first time in years. Entering this week three games in back of the Tennessee Titans, is something the Colts fans aren’t accustomed too. The Houston Texans finally get to open up Reliant Stadium as their fans get ready to party. A key match up in the AFC South takes place as both teams try and show some signs of life on offense. Peyton Manning is not the same player that we have grown use to seeing over the years. Is it age, the offense needing to be revamped or simply the division caught up to them? Whatever the answer is it’s time for Manning and Co, to get back on track and quickly. The Texans always seem to play the Colts hard and close each game over the last few years. We just might be looking at a major upset this week if Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson and rookie Steve Slaton can keep momentum moving on offense. The Texans offense is the key, and I don’t mean they need to score 40 plus points, but if they move the ball, get the first downs and score points fifty percent of the time when having the ball, it means you keep Manning and Colts fast paced offense sitting on the sidelines collecting the dust bunnies. Houston does that they win this game, if not it’s the Colts victory. As for myself I like the upset to happen, but not this week. INDIANAPOLIS 30-24
4 – WASHINGTON (3-1) AT PHILADELPHIA (2-2)
After a huge win for the Washington Redskins last week over Dallas Cowboys, it’s time for another divisional opponent. And here come the Philadelphia Eagles still recovering from the defeat at the hands of the Chicago Bears. The key for the Redskins, they have to keep pounding the ball on offense with Clinton Portis, and using the speed of their receivers Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El. If that happens it allows Jason Campbell to play the way he’s done all year long, relaxed and mistake free. On the Eagles side of the ball just getting Brian Westbrook back this week is monumental for the offense and Donovan McNabb. Not only does Westbrook open the running game, but he also allows McNabb a viable safety outlet out of the backfield. With rookie DeSean Jackson you just never know who’s going to show up each week. The highly talented speedy Jackson, or the immature cocky kid that drops the ball and celebrates before getting to the end zone. With the return of Kevin Curtis looming closer the Eagles offense just must be getting better in the weeks to come. For this week they’ll keep it together but fall short, good news for the Redskins! WASHINGTON 28-27
3 – TAMPA BAY (3-1) AT DENVER (3-1)
Expect a high scoring affair in the game, well at least from one side of the ball. The Denver Broncos coming off a humiliating lose at the hands off the Kansas City Chiefs are looking for some revenge. Jay Cutler and the offense will look to get back on track with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visiting this week. Bucs running back Earnest Graham will look to rebound this week and exploit the Broncos defensive line like the Chiefs Larry Johnson did last week. Brian Griese who’s thrown six interception’s since taking the helm in week two will try and show the Mile High faithful what a mistake it was letting him go. Griese’s use to the field and stadium that he once called home for five years. That’s a nice advantage if you ask me. Look for the Bucs secondary to pressure Brandon Marshall and force Cutler to get his tight end Tony Scheffler more involved. Denver’s backs won’t find the task easy trying to run the ball with the defensive line the Bucs put up. No running game, will make for a long day for the Broncos. But a great day for Tampa on the road. TAMPA BAY 34-30
2 – PITTSBURGH (3-1) AT JACKSONVILLE (2-2)
The Pittsburgh Steelers are looking for revenge after the Jacksonville Jaguars bounced the Steelers from the playoffs last season 31-29 in Pittsburgh. The Jaguars coming off an overtime win last week over the Texans, look to get the ground game back in high gear with Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor. With the way the Steelers defense is reeling over injuries and only six days removed from their Monday night victory, they’ll be hard pressed to slow down the Jags. Losing rookie Rashard Mendenhall for the season due to a fractured left shoulder and again being without Willie Parker’s services due to an injured left ankle, just mounts all the more pressure on Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger will be forced to air it out more to Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes and Nate Washington. It also forces tight end Heath Miller to stay at home move and remain Big Ben’s last target over the middle. It’s not looking good for Steelers this week can they create an upset, only time shall tell. JACKSONVILLE 34-30
1 – MINNESOTA (1-3) AT NEW ORLEANS (2-2)
It’s a prime time showdown in the Big Easy on Monday Night Football. The Minnesota Vikings arrive with the league’s best running back Adrian Peterson and the league’s worst pass defense for this thriller. On one side you have Peterson and the ability to just run all over this poor New Orleans Saints defense, and on the other you have Drew Brees and his missile of an arm. Brees is missing WR Marques Colston on the field, but seems to be making due with the likes of Lance Moore and Terrance Copper and Robert Meachem. Reggie Bush if he’s unable to run against the league’s top rush defense he’ll need to make his mark in the kick return game and open the field for Brees by catching passes out of the back field. This one’s to close to call, but I have to say give the nod to defense over offense. MINNESOTA 27-24